Flint & Battery Source Code Escrow

Source code vs machine code: Source code is the sequence of logical statements and operations written in a human-readable computer programming language that controls the functionality of software. It is typically written by software coders and common programming languages are Visual Basic, Java and C++. On average, source code runs into hundreds of thousands of pages. Once source code is completed, it is “compiled” into native machine code which is in a form where customers have no ability to see how the software was designed, no ability to change the operation (or update, fix, etc.) of the software, and typically no ability to reverse-engineer.

Source Code Escrow as a form of Security: Software developers or owners would license and install mission-critical applications and software which are typically highly customised to the operation of their customers’ businesses. Customers may rely on software to improve their productivity, increase profitability or such software may well form the core of their product or service offerings. In any of the cases above, software development and maintenance contracts are frequently accompanied by the source code escrow arrangement. Such arrangements require the software developer or owner to store the source code of their software with a Source Code Escrow Agent. We are able to deploy this strategy in a Singapore location.

Source Code Escrow as part of Disaster Recovery strategy: Source code escrow is fundamentally a disaster recovery strategy. As fixes, updates, revisions and improvements are only possible when the source code is available to a user, especially when software is built from ground-up or are customised from commercially available or open-source software. With the source code and documentation in the possession of the Source Code Escrow Agent or a Source Code Escrow Services Provider, such source code materials are released upon the occurrence of a “release event” such as the software developer or owner filing bankruptcy or defaulting specified obligations under the licence. This would allow the customer to maintain, fix, update, revise or improve their software without the original developer being involved. Wherever the geographical location of the disaster recovery strategy, Flint & Battery can complement this with a source code escrow deployment in Singapore.

Source Code Escrow as part of Risk Management strategy: Very commonly, the trade secrets of your business are embedded into your source code or in your applications that your software developer will maintain.

  • Firstly, your business model may depend on data processing algorithms and your source code is therefore the heart and soul of the entire business model. You do not want your trade secret or competitive advantage model to be jeopardised if your IT maintenance service provider is acquired by a competitor.
  • More typically, the data owned by your business defines the worth of your business. Therefore, the IT maintenance service provider holds the key to your data. In this case, you will want to be able to change service providers if your existing IT maintenance service provider is acquired by a competitor of your business. You will need this protection from industrial espionage.

Reasons for deploying Source Code Escrow in Singapore: Enterprise software requires maintenance. Source Code Escrow is essential and a necessary part of a maintenance transaction because:

  • the customer has no assurance that the software developer will always be around to perform software maintenance – the developer may become bankrupt, or be acquired by another entity,
  • disaster recovery strategy mandates that such an assumption should never be made, and
  • maintenance cannot be performed without source code and documentation.

Contact Flint & Battery at +6590091081 to understand all we can do for you.

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